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Letters to the editor (4/9/12)

Girl Scouts in the cross hairs

The "War on Women" continues! Now, they're going after the Girl Scouts.

-- Nancy Groszek

Anchorage

Too many bought into propaganda

I am ashamed to live in Anchorage. I am dismayed that 58 percent of voters bought the propaganda that gays and transgender people don't deserve the same rights, freedoms and liberties that we cherish in America and many of us can take for granted.

I don't understand the pastors who preached against Proposition 5. I have a great deal of respect for conservative Christians for their strong values around family and service to others. I understand the theological position -- though I don't agree with it -- that sexuality is for procreation and marriage is for (heterosexual) family. I appreciate that many Christians take the position "hate the sin, love the sinner." How do you get from there to the notion that gays don't deserve equal rights to housing and employment? What would Jesus do?

I admire the many Christians that exercised their own moral and political judgment to resist the "No" propaganda and vote in favor of Proposition 5. We have a lot of work to do to educate our more closed-minded pastors and neighbors.

-- Sharman Haley

Anchorage

Many saw through to the truth

It is gratifying to see that when people are pushed too far they still will stand up and take action as Anchorage voters did recently to defeat Proposition 5. Thanks to all you "No on Prop. 5" voters for seeing through the bogus LGBT argument that Proposition 5 was about discrimination when in reality it was all about them getting a legal club to beat us with to push their own agenda. Their own website says it all:

"The ACLU's LGBT rights strategy is based on the belief that fighting for the society we want means not just persuading judges and government officials, but ultimately changing the way society thinks about LGBT people."

-- Carl Soderstrom

Anchorage

Burma got it right, not Anchorage

Within a week's time, Burma, yes Myanmar, ran a more transparent election than Anchorage. Congratulations, Aung San Suu Kyi. Congratulations, mayor-elect?

-- Peter Montesano

Anchorage

Rights are sufficiently protected

In response to Bea Campbell's letter on April 6 ("Voters to reap what they sowed"):

Just remember, according to Section 1 of Alaska's Constitution: All persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry; that all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law.

I think that many of us here in Anchorage felt that protection of basic human rights is already sufficiently established.

-- Eric C. Love

Anchorage

Ads played on fear and ignorance

I caught the TV ad that those against Prop 5 sponsored. It seems those hateful, political bogeyman cartoons are having a revival in Anchorage.

The gay, lesbian, bi and transgender group was portrayed as a dark-haired man with a jutting, thick, Dudley Do-right bearded chin, clad in high heels, and dressed in a tight, pink miniskirt. And he had hairy muscular legs. The ad went on to say something like, this is who would end up taking care of your children if Prop. 5 were allowed to pass. It played on fear and ignorance.

Many groups in U.S. history have been vilified in these types of cartoons -- the Jewish, the Irish, Asians, Native Americans, women, etc. Some of the most hateful and virulent cartoons were directed against black men who were depicted as menacing sub-human monkeys who were a threat to all white mothers and daughters of upstanding society.

I looked for cartoon guy on election night at Dena'ina. Not surprisingly, he and his hairy legs never showed up.

-- Connie Dunphy

Anchorage

Don't destroy our salmon streams

The state of Alaska fines people who divert a creek, but the state Department of Natural Resources is considering letting PacRim destroy 11 miles of a salmon stream?

This decision to let a coal mining company mine through 11 miles of the Chuitna River is a sham. There is no evidence anywhere that a salmon stream can be reclaimed.

DNR is supposed to protect our salmon streams, not sell them to the highest bidder.

This is an incredibly shameful decision and defies the long-standing history in Alaska of carefully safeguarding our fisheries and clean water. Shame on Gov. Parnell if he does not step up to the plate and keep his word that he would "never trade one resource for another."

-- Nina Faust

Homer

City election failed its citizens

As a citizen of Anchorage I am writing to demand a hand recount of all ballots due to the unacceptable mishandling (and probably illegal) and inadequate availability of the proper ballots for the April 3 election.

As there were many precincts and many hours the correct ballots for distribution were not available for our citizens, they were forced to enter questionable ballots (or even use sample ballots). This is not acceptable for a dedicated branch of government service!

I had my ballot done at 12:45 p.m., but the machine took three tries to grab this ballot paper. How could I be sure that even my vote was counted correctly? And, the election staff had the ability to see my votes as the cover had slipped off the ballot.

Not only do I want the ballots to be recounted, I would put the city up to reschedule this entire election.

-- Kathleen S. Dunning

Anchorage

Prop. 5 vote shows it is justified

The disparity between the Proposition 5 yes and no votes confirms the degree to which the proposition is justified.

-- Ken Flynn

Anchorge

Good part of city remains bigoted

I woke Wednesday morning shocked and sickened to learn of the number of people in Anchorage who have apparently chosen to remain in a bigoted lifestyle.

-- Ken Winterberger

Anchorage

Industry should answer questions

Just wondering if anyone in the oil industry could tell us why a change to the oil tax structure as proposed by Craig S. Lingle (Compass, March 27) isn't a good idea. Pump more oil, enjoy lower tax rates.

Maybe the same oil guy could also explain why the price at the pump goes up fast when the price of oil rises, but drops so slowly when oil prices decline.

-- Pete Boehlen

Eagle River

Bill leaves college kids hanging

Gov. Sean Parnell made it impossible for retired teachers, principals, state workers and others to add their 23-26-year-old college children to their retiree insurance plans. I will refer you to this article from AARP Alaska: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-11-2010/governor_denies_health_ak.html.

That article reads "... for dependents of retired teachers, municipal and state workers, hope vanished with an executive decision made by Gov. Sean Parnell, (R-AK), not to apply a provision of the new federal health care reform law to the state's public retiree health plan."

SB81 will correct that glaring discriminatory error by Gov.r Parnell. Call your LIO for a free message to your or all legislators: 907-269-0111.

Sens. Ellis and Davis sponsored this bill and it will die in committee if Sen. Stedman doesn't move it for a vote in Senate Finance. Everyone deserves an equally good access to medical care, and retirees should not have their college students left out.

-- Linda Sharp

Anchorage

Headline mischaracterized plan

It was disappointing to read the headline in last week's Daily News (Shell drilling plan fails to account for risk factors) that inaccurately stated Shell had not considered the risks of working in the Arctic. The article, citing a recent GAO report, came only days after the Department of the Interior approved Shell's Beaufort Sea Oil Spill Response Plan and on the same day Shell received its final air permit.

To claim the GAO report was critical of Shell's plan for Alaska is to admit one has yet to read the actual report. Doing so makes clear the report was not, nor was it intended to be, a review of Shell's project. Nor did it take into account Shell's plans and mitigating measures for the Arctic.

Fortunately, the agencies that regulate the offshore have recognized Shell's plans as they are: safe, environmentally responsible and second to none in the Arctic. We know Alaskans expect nothing less.

-- Curtis Smith, Pete Slaiby, Shell Alaska VP

Anchorage

Intolerant bigots carry the day

No Irish. No Catholics. No Italians. No Chinese. No Negroes. No Jews. No Indians. No Women. Let's just step back in time, shall we.

No need, Proposition 5 has been defeated. It's open season for small-minded, intolerant bigots.

The day after voting I was in a local building supply store and overheard the clerks wise-cracking with a customer about his child's taste in clothing, warning him in jest about his kid's propensity for cross dressing. I guess with 58 percent of the vote going no, there is now a mandate in place for fear-mongering towards the LGBT community.

History will surely show this was a defeat that put Anchorage back in time.

-- Brian MacMillan

Anchorage

Religious entities need more rules

I propose that if a religious entity uses its pulpit for political purposes that they automatically lose their tax exempt status. I also believe that religious entity should then be required to register as a lobbyist.

-- Janetta Pritchard

Wasilla

Was Keller abducted by aliens?

Having lived in Alaska for nearly 30 years now, I thought I was beyond being shocked by inane behavior in the state Legislature. Yet I was flabbergasted when, during a routine review of a resolution honoring the Girl Scouts, Rep. Wes Keller insisted on discussing scurrilous allegations about them that he got off the Internet.

Full disclosure: I'm from a longtime scouting family. My grandmother was a cousin of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low and was in the first troop that Low founded in Savannah, Ga. So while I have no current ties to any scouting organization, I'm hardly neutral on the subject.

But anyone can make unfounded allegations about anyone else, especially on the Internet. Speaking of unfounded allegations, is it true that Rep. Keller was abducted by aliens? Is it true that they implanted a microchip in his brain that makes him spew utter nonsense?

These allegations raise serious questions. I'd like to hear his answers.

-- Wade Hampton Miller

Chugiak